Magazine December 22, 2014, Issue

High Culture vs. Justice

The Ugly Renaissance: Sex, Greed, Violence, and Depravity in an Age of Beauty, by Alexander Lee (Doubleday, 448 pp., $30)

Alexander Lee’s well-researched, nicely written, pleasantly illustrated book on the Italian Renaissance — especially the Florentine Renaissance — makes a very useful if not very original argument: The glorious products of Italian visual art in the period from 1380 to 1560 were created in a sociopolitical environment of extraordinary moral corruption and often for viciously self-interested and self-serving motives. Rightly taking Florence as the center of the Renaissance, he shows in detail how artistic patronage by families such as the Medici, and by popes and cardinals in Rome who were frequently their relatives, was almost always corrupt in its motives

M. D. Aeschliman is professor emeritus of education at Boston University and recently retired after teaching Anglophone culture for 25 years at the University of Italian Switzerland. The new edition of his The Restoration of Man: C.S. Lewis and the Continuing Case against Scientism was published by Discovery Institute Press (Seattle) in 2019 and in French by Pierre Téqui (Paris) in 2020. The French edition reprints several of his essays. He has published new editions of novels by Charles Dickens (2012) and Malcolm Muggeridge (1987).

In This Issue

Articles

Politics & Policy

The New Overseer

In October of 1990, Senator Alan Simpson, the Republican whip, emerged from an all-night negotiating session with his House counterparts on a series of clean-air regulations. What insights had he ...
Politics & Policy

Five Kinds of Diversity

Recently, Students for Fair Admissions, a new nonprofit organization, filed a lawsuit alleging that Harvard University discriminates against Asian-American applicants. Every year, Harvard admits roughly the same proportion of white, ...

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Politics & Policy

High Culture vs. Justice

Alexander Lee’s well-researched, nicely written, pleasantly illustrated book on the Italian Renaissance — especially the Florentine Renaissance — makes a very useful if not very original argument: The glorious products ...

Sections

Athwart

A Regular Riot

I lived in a D.C. neighborhood that experienced a spontaneous civilian-assisted property-redistribution episode, a.k.a. a riot. In the fall of 1991, a black female cop shot a Hispanic male, an ...
The Long View

The December 2014 SkyMall Catalogue

From Pages 12–18 of the December 2014  SkyMall™ Catalogue Holiday Gifts for the Congressional Staffer in Your Life! *     *     * The NoRegrets™ mobile-phone case slips easily on your iPhone or Samsung Galaxy ...
Politics & Policy

Poetry

POET’S NOCTURNE Should one happen upon the darkness with confidence, in familiar circumstance, there will be no place for emptiness, for heartfelt fear of loss from the old bones of imagination never fully laid to rest. ...
Politics & Policy

Letters

Daft? Partly In the December 8 issue, Henry Olsen (“A Victory to Last”) attributes the Republicans’ losses in the 1948 election to their passage of the Taft-Hartley Act the previous year. ...
Politics & Policy

The Week

‐ Doesn’t Al Sharpton realize that all the government spending he advocates will only increase his taxes? Oh, wait . . . ‐ Some of us tried to warn the Obama ...

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